The UN has said it is alarmed by reports of the mass detention of Uighurs in China and called for the release of those held on a counter terrorism "pretext". This comes after a UN committee heard reports that up to one million Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang were held in re-education camps, Xinhua news agency reported. Beijing has denied the allegations but admitted that some religious extremists were being held for re-education. China has blamed Islamist militants and separatists for unrest in the province. During a review earlier in August, members of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said credible reports suggested Beijing had "turned the Uighur autonomous region into something that resembles a massive internment camp". China responded that Uighurs enjoyed full rights but Beijing made a rare admission that "those deceived by religious extremism. shall be assisted by resettlement and re-education".